3 Things To Remember About Making Changes

3 Things to Remember when it’s time to take action as make big changes.

1. It will cost you in the beginning.

It will absolutely cost you! Money, time, energy and sacrifice will be inevitable in order to see progress and success. Taking action is not easy but it is necessary for self development. Positive action adds positive value via increase of knowledge, wisdom and experience.

2. If you don’t take action things will stay the same for you but continue changing around you.

If we are not willing to take action we are subjected to watching things change around us and nothing big ever changes for us. The risk in that, is experiencing how changes in our career, family and life will either slightly benefit us or cause damage forcing us to change anyway. Don’t wait to see what happens, make moves to create changes that will benefit you!

3. Everyone will not approve or agree.

It is absolutely ok that people won’t or don’t get what you are doing. It may be someone you expected to support you like a best friend or a spouse. But develop an “oh well” mindset. Oh well, thanks for listening. Oh Well, this is still something I have to do. Oh well, it’s risky and I might lose in the beginning or I know it’s going to cost me in the beginning but I’m going to do it anyway.

Aquila T Carmon

A Measure of Faith

What does it mean that God has dealt to every man the measure of faith? Pondering this causes me to ask questions like….How much faith did He give me? How does it compare to the faith of others? Will this faith only get me so far vs the faith of great leaders?
Romans 12:3 says:
“For I say to every man that is among you, through the grace given unto me, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Let’s be honest for a moment. Walking by faith is scary when you don’t seem to have the faith it takes but at the same time it takes faith to accomplish what we are called to.  It takes faith to walk into ICU and believe God will heal sickness.  It takes faith the bury our closest loved ones and believe God will give us the grace to keep going. It takes faith to encourage someone that it will work out. It takes faith to look into the eyes of a parent who lost their child and believe God will strengthen them.
It takes faith to make marriage work, start a business, serve with people who often disagree with you, maintain beneficial relationships and to raise children against the waves of negativity, darkness, distraction and disaster that crashes into our minds every single day. It takes faith to know that you can be who God created you to be. 
What did he create you to be? Powerful beyond the strength of your enemies. Wisely armed with the Mind of Christ. Unstoppable with the force of the Holy Spirit working in you day by day, leading you to and through victories great and small.
So the measure of faith that we are given is a tailored, measured, calculated portion of faith that is meant to work in and through you actively assisting you to your predestined call.  You Measure of faith is directly proportional to who God, as a man, measured you up to be. It is not to be compared and it is not to be doubted. It is an activator that will drive you into prayer and then into action. If you were a vehicle, this measure of faith is premium gasoline, high grade oil, fluids and regular maintenance for you life. If you have the faith to believe enough in yourself and believe enough in God then you will see that all things are possible.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen” Hebrews 11:1 Your measure of faith is only meant for what God intended to achieve in you and through you. So don’t just keep the faith, Use the Faith!
Bless you,
Aquila T Carmon

The Necessity of Change – Introduction

I woke up on Sunday Morning and my son busted into my room, his little wet body shivering, wrapped in a towel saying, “daddy where are my clothes.” I woke up from my sleep as I heard the door open and half way surprised asked him, “Did you already take a shower?” He replies “Yes I did”! Both of us were proud as I told him “Awesome…Now go back downstairs and find some underwear!”

Wow….only six years ago I was changing pampers on him and his twin brother. Most of us do this but when did you last think about how much time changes things? Seasons are in and out seemingly faster as we age, almost as if seconds tic faster on the clock nowadays.

Time isn’t waiting for you is it? Nope, so what are you waiting for. Opportunity is not only telling you to find it but opportunities are searching for you.  Open your eyes and see the chance to do something you haven’t done yet. Change!

For too long, our days become so routine and predictable that we could feel the need to change in our heart, soul, even in our bones. Change is calling us out! When we feel there has to be more, like we have to do better and begin to sense there is more for than this, guess what. There is! This feeling of unsettling means we have now engaged with the necessity change.

Why? Because purpose and destiny are on the line! Who you become, who you are becoming, depends on the steps you are taking to improve, develop, build, learn and grow. You don’t have time to waste or to procrastinate. The Almighty Phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll start on Monday” is a life snooze that will put you late for your appointment with purpose. Don’t WAIT!

Start the business, ask her to marry you, set up the budget, get your Credit fixed, go to the beach, read the book, take the classes, apply for the grant, build the church, move to the other state, MAKE A POWER MOVE and watch God be faithful when you act in faith!!

Aquila T Carmon

5 Principles of Progress

There are quite a few principles that drive us in the direction of progress and success in our lives. It’s wise to reflect and see if we are putting those principles in place. Today I’ll share five of those values with you that caused a huge difference in my life and catapulted me from literally a place of depression and distraction to determination and desire for greater achievement. These principles are relevant for spiritual, financial, career and personal growth. Let’s jump into it.

The first one is PRAYER. What is one of the secrets of having great focus? Having direction! Having a really good sense of destination sets our sails on course for an amazing and purposeful journey. Like any journey though, Inevitably,  we get lost or sometimes even lose ourselves. Prayer brings us back to a proper head-space, heart-place.  Prayer keep us grounded and in connection with God. Praying for God’s guidance, strength and peace essentially aligns us with God’s will through our convictions, His grace and gives us clarity even through the clouded and crowded times. Jesus spent hours praying because He understood that not only external but also his internal needs came from a Spiritual source, His Father in Heaven. It is wise to consult with the Lord about where we are headed and what we should accomplish before consulting with men.  God knows the ultimate purpose for our lives and there could be unnecessary frustration when we allow our intentions to supersede God’s divine direction for our life.

The second is PERSPECTIVE.  How do you see where you are? We should see our challenges like a weight lifter sees a weight that is too heavy and consider how we will build up to clearing that weight. Problems can make us better problem solvers, trouble can build patience, tragedy can push us closer to our Source of strength, pain builds our ability to endure greater pains, hurt and broken trust wises us up. You get the idea. Don’t see a wall as a wall, but a teaching objective that will force you to reach, stretch and think more critically or trust God more consistently.  See your problems from the perspective of every problem has a solution. Remember that God will never put more on you than you can bear.

Next is PLANNING. Yes, strategy is vital in this game of life. I hear you….” Things never go as planned” I’ll say that is True and False. The wrong perspective may tell you this, simply because the whole plan didn’t go as planned. Get this. If you create a plan to meet your goals and only 10% of your plan worked out, then the plan is working because the plan was really to make progress.  A plan is a safeguard. It’s like putting the bumper rails up at the bowling alley to keep you from rolling a gutter ball. Planning may not get you a strike, but it should at least help get you some points on the scorecard.

Fourth is PERSEVERANCE. The ability to move forward when you are ready to quit. Perseverance is the internal characteristic that you can train yourself to put in action. Deciding to walk when you cannot run, crawl when you cannot walk and stopping only to catch your breath, to re-strategize, to pray, to reflect on your perspective but never stopping because you quit.

Lastly to Acknowledge and Celebrate PROGRESS. Seeing and realizing that even though this was small progress that this is a BIG moment. If your plan in laid out and you have made progress toward that goal, then you must realize within every goal is the goal of making progress. If your church didn’t grow by 20 members but it grew by five, celebrate the progress. If your business income didn’t grow by $5,000 but it grew by $1,000, celebrate the progress.

Remember that “The race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end.” Your life doesn’t need to be in competition with anyone else. So, kill all those comparisons and work towards your goals. Stay focused, stay positive, plan every aspect of your life and Celebrate along the way.

There is Hope,

Aquila T Carmon

The Grace Place

One of the first things that really attracted me to God was the opportunity to bring my life to him while I stood in a state of hopelessness and in a condition that others would not accept me in. It attracted me to him because even though I had sung all my life about amazing grace it isn’t until you really need it and try it that you realize wow, this grace of God’s really is amazing.

When I gave my life to God sixteen years ago, I was broken, hurt, broken-hearted, failed everything I’d tried at life so far. I had just lost my job, my license, car broke down, with drugs parading around in my system and the first three things all happened in one day. I was in a hard place, a place of depression, desperation and decision.

I needed something, someone or both. Honestly, I had no friend that was able to deal with the weight of my heart, thoughts or emotions. Even If they did understand, people don’t really have what you need when your life seems to be a walking tragedy. I’ve always found it to be a true statement that it is difficult to find mercy with people. Whether it be the mercy that will urge giving or the mercy that allow forgiving. Truly, what’s needed when waves are crashing into our ship while sailing in deep waters is God and His grace.

Ah, Grace, unmerited favor, mercy, compassion and acceptance that can be shown but not even noticed. I wonder if you’ve ever missed the opportunity to thank God for grace because you didn’t see it. Many of us think that grace is just for the saints, covering us as we make mistakes. But listen, grace is so much more. God uses grace as a means to influence, lead, change and alter the condition and direction of our hearts. Grace is a heart influencer that chases us down and finds us when we are lost. The Word of God says that grace “bounds towards me.” Yes, it finds us in times of need, justifies us and “through grace we are saved” by faith. Ephesians 2:8

I’ve found during my walk with Christ there are 3 places God’s grace meets us. Not the only 3 places but the ones I’d like to share with you today.

The First place we meet God’s grace is in A Place of Sacrifice. A place where we make it no longer about us but like David in Psalm 51:10 simply desire a clean heart. The sacrifice where we realize our desires may be of flesh and not spirit, so we then seek after God’s righteousness and abandon our own selfish agendas. Oswald chambers wrote “purity in God’s children is not the outcome of obedience to His law but the result of the spiritual work of His grace.” We become righteous by giving God full permission to work in us and work those things out of us that are not like him, without resistance to his leading. We render our whole man to God’s hand

The Second place we meet God’s grace is in A Place of Humility. A place where we recognize we’re willing to go but we must openly admit to God that we are just not brave enough or strong enough. It’s the place in the process where we love God and want to do his will, but we fail at holiness because we cannot obtain the mark without His supernatural strength working inside of us. We openly admit that it is not us but Him and that His Holy Spirit is not only the prerequisite but the absolute necessity to obtain any true level of relevant success in this life. This is where grace doesn’t just cover our sins and cleanse our heart, but grace works as an element of force, as much as we will allow it, to turn our hearts back to God or fully towards Him.

The Third place we meet God’s grace Is in A Place of Victory. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all suffiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” Suffiency literally means a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed. This is not to say you don’t need help but to say that here is the grace and with this grace comes all of the help you need!

In times of need, desperation, loneliness, confusion, despair, brokenness, grace abounding moves mountains, tares down walls, lights up darkness and crushes every enemy just to get to where you are.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. How did it find me in all of this mess? It does not matter what stands between you and God when you have decided to accept Jesus into your life then God sends Grace abounding towards like a train without brakes just to deliver you right where you stand.

Know today that God has a meeting room for you. It is called A Grace Place. And this Grace Place could be your living room, your dorm room or your workplace restroom. It is the place that you make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

There is Hope,God Bless You!
Aquila T Carmon

My Daughter’s Motivation

How many of us have ever found motivation from frustration? Have you ever been motivated by difficulty in reaching a goal, obtaining a level of achievement or making something happen when it feels like you don’t have much of anything to make it with.  Has failure ever motivated you to the place where you say this will be the last time I find myself in this situation?

My most recent motivation came from my seven year old daughter.  I wish I could say that it came from watching her do something amazing or seeing her not give up. Those are always great moments that motivate me to do and be better.  Unfortunately, not this time.  I was picking her up from after care along with my two five year old sons.  She came running to the car with an amazing amount of excitement and I begin to think, boy she has been in there having fun!! She runs up to the passenger side but today she didn’t reach for the back door to get in. She says, “Daddy, Daddy you have to come inside the school for the Winter festival!!” At that moment I’m thinking, “OH NO, What did I miss?” Knowing that this is about to be a hard conversation I reply, “baby we can’t, I have to go back to work.”

So far there are two dilemmas.  The first, not knowing this winter festival is taking place because I didn’t read through all of the teacher’s communications. The second is that my daughter really wants me to attend this event but I’m on the particular day I am scheduled to work the late shift even though I have been working since 8am to catch up on unfinished assignments and to meet fast approaching deadlines.

So my baby girl who sometimes will make it known she is upset and sad breaks down to cry.  Not an “I am mad” kind of cry.  But a “This is the most disappointing thing ever” kind of cry.  My heart is pierced to the point that if I wasn’t a grown man I would have cried with her.  I immediately become angry that I haven’t “made it” yet.  I become angry because I have been exposed to opportunities that if I had worked and pushed years ago I would be financially free by now.  I become angry because my job, as important as, it is should not be putting my in a position to chose an income over my children. Not in 2018 when people are making six figures in their 20’s. I became so angry that I became motivated. You see she cried until I promised her Chinese food and a bag of takis.

You see, as I begin to promise her some of her favorite things.  I began to promise myself some things too. I promised myself that I would not stop building my own business until it is a business that will provide for them what my kids need.  That it will produce the type of residual income that will afford me options. The Word of God says in Ecclesiastes 10:19 “A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry and money answers all things.” You see money unlocks options.  It provides opportunities and choices for us.  Its the difference of where you get your education, how you spend your time and who you spend it with.  It can determine how you can get out of your normal routine and rest or if you have to work 2-3 jobs to make it.  I’ve pulled countless double shifts, stayed in terrible hotels, hoped for a ride to come and the “friend” never showed up.  My father and mother are the hardest working people I know. But they taught me to get hired on a job, pay the bills, take two weekend trips a year, then rinse and repeat. I have no desire to leave my children with the burden of being routed and steered by society. Neither would I have them facing road blocks, rejected credit and a limitation of resources because I refused to exist outside of the box that I have grown up to know.  I desire to leave them with a way to fund their dreams and a way to finance the cost of their goals. Sometimes we are waiting for a miracle after God has given us a resource to produce right here in our hands and our minds.

My daughter’s tears became another motivator for me to be better and to do better.  My daughter’s tears have motivated me to revisit my dreams and push for them.  They motivate me to build and work more intensely in ministry and for my community for the children who don’t have the parents that say “Baby everything’s going to be alright!”

Be motivated, stay encouraged and know that anything is possible. Nothing worth building is built overnight. It may take all you’ve got to build it but build it none the less. Build your Church, build your marriage, build your business, build relationships. Build yourself until you can look at your life and know you’ve given God and the people he has entrusted you to impact all you were meant to give.

Aquila T Carmon

About Trust (Part 1)

Simply stating what trust is, it means placing confidence in something that will work well. Trust holds value because it’s a key element in successful relationships. It involves taking an intimate part of yourself to entrust that part of you to someone else. Trusting someone means “letting them in.” The collective understanding of trust equates to unlocking our inner emotions and thoughts to become vulnerable enough to allow another person to handle those intimate parts. Parts of us that should not particularly be handled by people. I believe before confidence is deposited into someone we should complete a checklist that justifies the choice to trust. Before investing love, energy, time, and confidence take the time to evaluate how they invest these same things into themselves or the people around them. Do they truly love themselves? If they don’t then they won’t love you? Do they have respect for themselves, do they try to take care of themselves and their own things? If you dated somebody whose car was always full of trash, that allows no rights to join them in matrimony then argue about how they won’t aid in keeping the house clean. What is the process of deeming a person worthy of trust? When you purchase a vehicle you should get the service records, check the blue book value and have it inspected before you drive off expecting it to be dependable. You must WATCH and OBSERVE before you offer trust.

Trusting and placing your confidence in someone means you become reliant on them, resting your mind on their integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or any other sound characteristic we have witnessed in people. Trusting means leaning on others with hopes that they will not fall. But what is problematic with trust goes back to the opening statement which expresses placing confidence in something that will work well. But in my opinion, humans are more flawed than anything else on this earth so there is never a guarantee in how well a person will “work.”

That’s why Psalms 118:8 says, “it is better to put your trust in the Lord than put your confidence in man.” Psalms 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes nor the son of man in whom there is no help” Jeremiah 17:5 “cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength” Micah 7:5 “A man’s enemies are the men of his own house”.
Wow! Do we still need to ask how or why we all find ourselves in a place where our trust has been broken? It is dangerous to place an expectation of commitment without an expectation of failure. Let me be clear, man is not like God and man will fail you! Give him enough time. But remember that the way you perceive them failing you is based on the measure of which you trust. You can’t fail me if I don’t trust you. If you make a stupid decision and I don’t trust you then I will not be disappointed. That’s the reason there are people right now that won’t trust anybody. But that’s why we must re-evaluate the purpose of trust.

In relationships trust is necessary because produces something grand. Confidence! I hate it when my wife says to me “you’re supposed to be an Elder!” The last time was exactly a year ago when we tried to save money on a trip and I agreed to one of those ninety minute presentations. Well that turned into three hours and a brother lost his cool. Her translatable version of what I am “supposed to be” is “I am trusting that you can be better than this.” That means she puts her confidence in me and because of that I am now held accountable. This is true for employees, managers, Pastors, church members, marriage and friendships.  For someone to put their confidence in us nudges the pride in us producing encouragement, pushing us and drives us to be better. But on the end of the trustee, emotions should not be attached to the trust. Trust becomes simply a tool used to inject accountability in relationships. The mistake we make too often is trusting others with parts of us that only God should have access to because only He will be perfect to respond to our trust without disappointment and failure.

I guess the take away would be that trust is risky, but John Donne wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a part of a continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.”  Trust is powerful and because we cannot make it alone we have to learn how to trust seeing that it truly has the ability to make us better.

God Bless you,

Elder Aquila T. Carmon